Password security and why you should create more secure passwords.
So first - the problem. The reason this is such a big deal is that hackers are using a lot of tricks to gain access to your accounts. They do things like writing applications which will try to guess your passwords by attempting to log in to a common site hundreds of times. So a password that is not easy to guess is really important. And you've probably recently heard about websites that have been hacked, resulting in millions of personal records being stolen. Many of those records are passwords.
It's important and most people consistently use terrible passwords. The analysis of the 32 million user password breach at RockYou certainly highlights that. Last December the password database of RockYou—a service that lets people create multimedia slideshows and other media creations for social networks like Facebook—was completely compromised. The login and password information of 32 million users was captured by a single hacker who released the passwords—sans matching logins—to the public.
Now the good news: changing your password doesn't take long and many sites offer password strength meters so that you know your new password is well protected.
Things you can do to create more secure passwords and if you're not doing it right now you need to start:
The last one is extremely important. RockYou stored all their passwords in plaintext which isn't—shockingly!—as uncommon as you would think. If your password is compromised because of the stupidity of the people running the service you use, it doesn't matter if you had an awesome password of enormous length and variety. If you use that awesome password on other services, those services have now been compromised.